Ratchet & Clank is a series known for its wacky weapons and gadgets, which is appropriately paired with some equally silly characters. It wasn’t until the third game, Up Your Arsenal, however, that we were introduced to the perfect villain for such a ridiculous franchise, the outrageously goofy Dr. Nefarious, an organic turned robot who tends to freeze up whenever he’s especially angry or excited.
Dr. Nefarious is your typical mad scientist whose absurd plans are always doomed to failure. But rather than be a forgettable addition to the ever-expanding mad scientist trope, he makes up for it thanks to his loud and over-the-top personality. When he’s not concocting another one of his evil schemes, he can be found watching soap operas, writing his own script for an “epic, romantic, comedy, space opera”, or auditioning for Galactic Idol. So even if he gave up on being a villain, he’d still have plenty of hobbies to keep himself occupied.
Unfortunately for Ratchet and Clank, however, Nefarious isn’t satisfied with just watching (and complaining on the radio about) the newest episode of Lance and Janice. In his debut, Nefarious’ first absurd plan revolved around attempting to change all organic life into robots using a device called a Biobliterator! And for his return in A Crack in Time, he attempted to turn back time in order to reverse every heroic victory so that the villains always win. Now those are some ambitious goals! What is fortunate is the fact that, despite his wild inventions, Nefarious’ own incompetence tends to get in the way, from his extreme immaturity to his bad temper.
This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning his butler, Lawrence, who serves as Nefarious’ opposite, with a calm and composed personality and a far more subtle sense of humor. Not a scene goes by where Lawrence isn’t stealthily insulting his boss in the most deadpan manner possible. It is no surprise, then, that Lawrence doesn’t particularly like the crazy scientist, and he takes no shortage of satisfaction from smacking Nefarious every time he freezes up.
For a series where the villains tend to appear only once, it’s notable that Dr. Nefarious was popular enough to earn his way to recurring-villain status, becoming almost the Bowser of the Ratchet & Clank series. Whenever he’s on-screen, it’s pretty difficult not to laugh at this nutty robot’s antics. In his more recent appearances, Nefarious has begun to lean towards being a more neutral character, though I can’t really see him as anything other than the outrageous villain we all know and love. I’m sure most people would agree that Nefarious is at his best when he’s trying to annihilate his foes!
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